Crusaders in good shape: Deans

By now it is well known that Robbie Deans, the most successful coach is Super rugby history, will take a step up to international rugby and coach the Australian national team.

He will stay on and coach the Crusaders in 2008 but in a message written to his fans on the Crusaders website he explains that the decision to leave the Crusaders was one of the most difficult that he has ever made.

In the message he says that the time was right for him to leave and that the Crusaders have a bright future.

The message in full follows here:

A message from Robbie Deans

I have received so many letters and messages of support from people that I wish to respond.

The decision to leave Christchurch after the end of the 2008 Crusaders season and coach overseas has undoubtedly been one of the most difficult of my professional sporting career.

While the rugby marketplace has been global ever since rugby went professional 12 years ago, it is probably only now that I truly appreciate the thought process and the ‘what ifs?’ that so many others have gone through before reaching this point.

To go (off shore) is a big decision. It is not one that is entered into lightly.

I don’t wish to dwell on the circumstances surrounding my departure – they have already been well publicized, except to say that the timing of my exit is right, both from a personal and family perspective, but also for the Crusaders.

I am ready to coach internationally.

After serving for eleven years as a Super rugby manager and coach here, I feel I can not afford to forgo the position offered to me in Australia.

It is both flattering and humbling that the Australian Rugby Union has afforded me this opportunity.

While it will no doubt be an interesting position to be in, coaching against New Zealand; it is not without precedent, and will add to my personal development as a coach – as it has done for others before me.

I always aspired to leave the Crusaders in good shape when the time came.

I believe I will be doing that.

Not only do we have a good level of depth among our player base, there are some quality people in place around the team, and some highly promising coaches coming through.

Their time is coming. It would not have been right to delay their potential development by hanging on for too long.

I’m proud of my association with Canterbury rugby, the Crusaders, Christchurch and the wider Crusaders franchise community.

Much has been achieved, and the memories Penny, I and our children have shared in will stay with us forever.

Although the move to Australia opens a new chapter in our lives, it’s not a case of closing the book here.

Our thoughts will always be with Canterbury and the Crusaders.

To that end, we would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone in the community who has supported us through the good times, and the more difficult periods.

The level of care and understanding has been quite astounding at times, and is reflective of what a passionate but truly caring community in which we live.

Thank you again. Take care.


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